The Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support opened in April 2022 in the village of Stryhiń of Biaroza District, Brest Region. The Centre is unique in Belarus in terms of the scope of services it offers to entrepreneurs. There, the district residents have an opportunity to learn about agro-eco-technologies, the principles of green economy, basics of doing business and financial literacy. It may also provide entrepreneurs with seeds and seedlings, share with them the groundbreaking technologies of working with agricultural crops, teach them how to build greenhouses and garden nurseries.Assistance to entrepreneurs with processing and selling their produce is another dimension of their activity. An equipment share centre was set up for this purpose. They purchased several drying cabinets, 30-tier dryers, cheese-making equipment, pasteurizers, separators, a butter churn, a syrup boiler, an oil press, an herb fermentation barrel, a slicer, a vacuum packer, a juicer and some other equipment. The equipment is available for processing raw materials free of charge, one only needs to sign a contract and become a partner of the Centre.
Besides, the Centre offers information and consultation support for local entrepreneurs (whose business is not subject to any licenses), it helps them draw their business models and other business development documents.
In 2020-2022, in the course of implementation of the initiative “Creation and Development of an Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support Centre”:
- 100 persons were trained in the Centre
- at least 5 tons of finished agro-eco produce was sold
- 60 residents of the district began to grow agricultural crops on self-employment terms
- 10 active entrepreneurs became partners of the Centre.
Natalya Strok, who stood behind the creation of the Centre, is now its Director. Natalya has extensive business experience. A source of new ideas, she has an amazing knack for spotting promising opportunities for self-employment.
"We aspire to see Biaroza District associated with the production of healthy and eco-friendly produce. To this end, we bring together enterprising people who have some interesting ideas but who do not know how to put them into practice. When necessary, we provide training, help transform the idea into an end result, teach how to promote a product so that it can reach the buyer. Entrepreneurs will get together in the Centre to be of use for each other. We must co-operate, not compete”, commented Natalya Strok, Director of the Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support.
14 initiatives totalling to U.S. Dollars 563,498 are implemented in Biaroza District under the project “Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus”. The Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support in the village of Stryhiń is among such initiatives. The project also supports 1 cluster initiative, 5 socially significant and 7 entrepreneurial initiatives. The implementation of these initiatives will give a boost to the development of the district, provide self-employment opportunities for the local residents, in other words, an additional source of income for the villagers. The initiatives have facilitated the creation of 45 new jobs in the district, including 36 for women.
The initiative “Creation and Development of a Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support” was carried out under the project “Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus”, which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
The initiative partners were Biaroza District Executive Committee, Stryhiń Rural Executive Committee, Sporaŭski Naitonal Bio Reserve, DARY NATURY Company, Biaroza Social Services Centre.